Fortress Ploesti by Joy A. Stout
The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil Supply

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Synopsis

Unlike previous books on Ploesti, Jay Stout goes well beyond the famous big and bloody raid of August 1943 and depicts the entire 1944 strategic campaign of twenty-plus missions that all but knocked Ploesti out of the war and denied the German war machine the fuel and lubricants it so desperately needed.

While Fortress Ploesti is the narrative history of the entire air campaign to deny the Ploesti oil complex to the Axis powers, it is also a launching point for the author's inquiries into many aspects of the American strategic bombing effort in World War II. It delivers across the board.

Stout, who served as a Marine F/A-18 pilot in the First Gulf War, asks questions about aviation combat history and technique that any modern combat pilot would be dying to ask. He carries the ball far beyond the goal post set by all other Ploesti historians. He has gone out of his way to describe the defenses throughout the campaign, and he brings in the voices of Ploesti's defenders to complement the tales of Allied airmen who brought Ploesti to ruin. He describes the role of the bombers, that of the fighters, the ant-aircraft defenses, even the technique of obscuring the Ploesti complex with smoke.

In the end, Stout's narrative describes the entire Ploesti effort for the very first time in print, and, by proxy, guides the reader through the intricacies of the entire Allied strategic bombing campaign in Europe, and all the weapons and techniques the Axis powers used to parry it. His lucid presentation of complex issues at the tactical and strategic levels is impressive.

Jay Stout's previous books include Hornets Over Kuwait, his Gulf War memoir and, as co-author, The First Hellcat Ace.

 

About Joy A. Stout

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Jay A. Stout is a retired Marine Corps fighter pilot. An Indiana native and graduate of Purdue University, he was commissioned during June 1981 and was designated a naval aviator on 13 May 1983. His first fleet assignment was to F-4S Phantoms at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. Following a stint as an instructor pilot at NAS Chase Field Texas from 1986 to 1989, he transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet. He flew the Hornet from bases on both coasts and ultimately retired from MCAS Miramar during 2001. Aside from his flying assignments, he served as the executive officer of 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, and in a variety of additional assignments with various staffs around the world. During his twenty-year career he flew more than 4,500 flight hours, including 37 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. Following his military career Stout worked for a very short time as an airline pilot before being furloughed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He subsequently flew for the Kuwait Air Force for a year before returning to the States where he now works for as a senior analyst for a leading defense contractor. Lieutenant Colonel Stout's writing has been read on the floor of the U.S. Senate and has been published in various professional journals and newspapers around the nation. Works published while he was on active duty addressed controversial topics (women in the military, the MV-22 Osprey, effectiveness of the AV-8B Harrier, etc.) and took viewpoints that were often at odds with senior military leadership. Nevertheless, his cogent arguments and forthrightness contributed considerably to his credibility. Indeed, his expertise as a tactical aviator is recognized by Fox's national news network, which has hosted him twice as a combat aviation expert.
 
Published September 1, 2003 by Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors. 224 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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